As our centre moved from vision into reality, one of the first tasks was to create an image that would offer a visual symbol. Our visual symbol evolved from circle dialogue between the Indigenous Field of Study team and the centre’s director. We felt our visual symbol needed to tell the story of what the Centre for Indigegogy stands for and also represent our Indigeneity and wholism.
The image's artist is Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell), whose spirit name is Awnjibinayseekwe (Changing Thunderbird Eagle Woman). She was born in Sault Ste. Marie, with family roots in Rankin and Garden River. It is the Great Superior and its northern landscape where her spirit and heart are centred and renewed. We are grateful to her for engaging with us collaboratively and creatively in co-creating this image for the centre.
Our visual symbol represents the four sacred directions and all the wholistic and Indigenous knowledge contained within those directions represent the four doorways and their gifts. The circle of sweet grass lifts up kindness. The honesty is represented in the tree, straight from our First Mother, reaching up to the sky realm. Its branches, leaves, birds of song and seeds spreading life – reaching and promoting life. The roots that wrap around – reaching deep into the earth, representing our access to those who have come before us.
The roots of the tree represent ancestral knowledge, connections and passageways. Our Indigenous roots ground the vision and manifestations of the Centre for Indigegogy. The tree branches are the branching out as our centre is endeavouring to do and they represent the possibilities and pathways as we develop. The leaves are the growth of our professional development trainings that are steeped in Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. The birds and seeds on the tree represent the seeds of life, knowing and those helpers that transport life’s knowing.
Out of the work of the Indigenous Field of Study came the vision of other Indigenous educators, sharing their bundles to restore Indigenous knowledge in practice. The grandmother moon/sun of the centre's visual symbol was transported from the Indigenous Field of Study visual symbol and represents those embers that are carried from the Indigenous Field of Study fire into the Centre for Indigegogy fire. This transporting of the visual symbol embers represents the connection and relationship of the Centre for Indigegogy to the Indigenous Field of Study, and thus maintaining continuity and relationship between the two fires. It is a way of honouring the journey and the learning that sparks our vision.
Kathy Absolon King, MSW, PhD
Director of the Centre for Indigegogy
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